What is new with MAAS 3.1

Here you will find release notes for:

MAAS 3.1 release notes

We are happy to announce that MAAS 3.1 is now available. This release provides new features and critical bug fixes.

Cumulative summary of MAAS 3.1 features and fixes

Critical and high-priority fixes also extend or repair MAAS features:

  • Expanded proxies: Some proxies require authentication; MAAS now respects peer proxy username and password

  • Accurate storage pool sizes: The UI now calculates storage pool sizes correctly for CEPH pools; shared pools are no longer stacked

  • Refresh wipeout bug: MAAS does not destroy existing VMs on a refresh, or when the memory overcommit ratio is changed

  • Cloning issue fixed: UI cloning has been repaired to prevent “unsuccessful cloning” of storage

How to install MAAS 3.1

MAAS 3.1 can be installed fresh from snaps (recommended) with:

sudo snap install --channel=3.1 maas

MAAS 3.1 can alternatively be installed from packages by adding the 3.1 PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maas/3.1
sudo apt update
sudo apt install maas

You can then install MAAS 3.1 from packages with:

sudo apt-get -y install maas

Or, if you prefer to upgrade your current package, you can:

sudo apt upgrade maas

At this point, proceed with a normal installation.

LXD clusters

MAAS 3.1 takes advantage of the existing LXD clustering capability.

About LXD clusters

LXD clusters in MAAS allow you to view and manage existing VM host clusters and compose VMs within clusters. MAAS will not create a cluster, but it will discover existing clusters.

How to add LXD clusters

MAAS assumes you have already configured an LXD cluster. You then need to configure the cluster with a single trust which MAAS uses to communicate it. Adding a LXD cluster is like adding a single LXD host: you provide authentication in a similar way, and then select a project. MAAS then connects to the provided host to discover other hosts within the cluster, renaming the cluster host with a name you supply.

First, add an LXD KVM:

Next, set up credentials and let LXD trust your MAAS certificate:

Once connected, you can select the project in that cluster:

If the KVM host address is part of a cluster, it will show as a cluster on the listing page.

How to compose VMs in LXD clusters

Composing a VM in a LXD cluster via MAAS is similar to composing a VM for a single VM host. MAAS does not provide any sort of scheduling of said VM, and will instead target the host you select for composing the VM.

From the KVM host listing page, click on the + icon to add a VM to a specific host:

If you are in a specific KVM host page, you can click + add virtual machine:

How to delete LXD clusters

To delete an LXD cluster, simply delete any VM host within the cluster:

Ability to enlist deployed machines

Ten words or fewer

Users can enlist deployed machines, a top feature poll request.

About this feature

When adding machines to MAAS, MAAS (non-destructively) boots them into an ephemeral environment to gather hardware information. Previously, this didn’t work for deployed machines, since you don’t want to disrupt deployed workloads or mark deployed machines as ready.

Now you may add deployed machines, without normal commissioning process or relabelling the machine. In order to update the information, a script is provided to run minimal commissioning scripts and update to MAAS.

How to enlist a machine that’s already running a workload

In order to enlist a deployed machine, you have two options:

Via the API/CLI, you can create a machine, passing the deployed flag:

$ maas $profile machines create deployed=true hostname=mymachine \   
architecture=amd64 mac_addresses=00:16:3e:df:35:bb power_type=manual

On the machine itself (the recommended way, if the machine is running Ubuntu), you can download and run a helper script from MAAS:

$ wget http://$MAAS_IP:5240/MAAS/maas-run-scripts
$ chmod 755 maas-run-scripts
$ ./maas-run-scripts register-machine --hostname mymachine \
 > http://$MAAS_IP:5240/MAAS $MAAS_API_TOKEN

Now you have enlisted a deployed machine, with no hardware information yet.

How to update hardware information for a deployed machine

To update hardware information for a deployed machine, we recommend that you download and run the maas-run-scripts script on the machine:

$ wget http://$MAAS_IP:5240/MAAS/maas-run-scripts
$ chmod 755 maas-run-scripts
$ ./maas-run-scripts report-results --config mymachine-creds.yaml

If you created the machine with the maas-run-scripts, you should have such a mymachine-creds.yaml file already. If not, it should look like this:

reporting:
          maas:
            consumer_key: $CONSUMER_KEY
            endpoint: http://$MAAS_IP:5240/MAAS/metadata/status/$SYSTEM_ID
            token_key: $TOKEN_KEY
            token_secret: $TOKEN_SECRET

You may get the needed credentials from the MAAS API, for example:

$ maas $profile machine get-token wxwwga
Success.
Machine-readable output follows:
{
        "token_key": "Lyy9BS4tKsQakDQScy",
        "token_secret": "V8vta8Azwn6FZVkfHnuTvLGLScAvEufB",
        "consumer_key": "YGT6QKSH65aap4tGnw"
}

Static Ubuntu image upload and reuse

Ten words or fewer

Users can upload, deploy and reuse a bootable ubuntu image

About this feature

MAAS supports deploying custom OS images. Canonical provides both lp:maas-image-builder and gh:canonical/packer-maas to create custom images. With 3.1, these custom images can include static Ubuntu images, created with whatever tool you choose, deployed as described below. Canonical still suggests customising Ubuntu using cloud-init user_data or Curtin preseed data, if possible.

About static Ubuntu images

MAAS allows you to build an Ubuntu image to deploy with MAAS, using any chosen image-building tool. You can create the image with a fixed configuration and deploy it to many machines. This fixed configuration can contain anything a normal image would contain: users, packages, etc.

About uploading hand-built Ubuntu images

You can upload and deploy hand-built Ubuntu images, containing kernel, bootloader, and fixed configuration. The image can be built by tool, e.g., packer, or by scripts. You can upload these images to the boot-resources endpoint, where they will be available for deployment.

The minimum image must contain a kernel, bootloader, and /curtin/curtin-hooks script that configures the network. Samples can be found in the packer-maas repos. The image must be in raw img file format so MAAS will accept the upload. When built, you will upload this img file to the boot-resources endpoint, specifying the image architecture.

About how MAAS handles these images

MAAS will save the image as a tar.gz file in the database. MAAS can differentiate between image types and generate appropriate pre-seed configurations. MAAS also recognises the base Ubuntu version, so it can apply the correct ephemeral OS for installation. Custom images are always deployed with the ephemeral OS, where the base_image field indicates the appropriate ephemeral version to avoid errors, ensuring smooth deployment later.

About how MAAS boots these images

When you deploy a machine with your custom image, MAAS ensures that the machine receives the kernel, bootloader and root file system provided in the image. The initial boot loader then boots an ephemeral OS matching the Ubuntu version of the custom image, reducing compatibility issues. Curtin then writes your entire custom image to disk, after which it is not modified by MAAS.

Note that custom non-Ubuntu images still use a standard Ubuntu ephemeral OS to boot.

About configuring deployed machine networking

If you deploy a machine with a custom Ubuntu image, MAAS allows you to configure the deployed machine’s networks just like any other MAAS machine. If you create an interface and assign it to a subnet or static address, this will be reflected in the deployed machine.

For this reason, MAAS also does some initial diagnostics while installing the custom image. MAAS will warn you about a missing network configuration, by checking for cloud-init and netplan in the curtin images. MAAS won’t deploy machine with such images.

About configuring deployed machine storage

If you deploy a machine with a custom Ubuntu image, you will also want to be able to configure storage, just like any other machine. MAAS facilitates changes to the storage configuration, such as resizing /root, attaching and formatting block devices, etc.

About static image metrics

As a user, you want to track of deployed static images. The standard MAAS dashboard now reflects these metrics.

How to upload a custom Ubuntu image

Custom Ubuntu images can be uploaded with the MAAS CLI by creating a boot-resource:

	maas $PROFILE boot-resources create \
        name='custom/ubuntu-custom'  \
        architecture=amd64/generic \
        title=’custom ubuntu’ \
        base_image=ubuntu/focal \
        filetype=ddraw \
        content@=./custom-ubuntu.img

When uploading a custom image, there is a new required field: base_image. This is not required for non-custom images; any image with the custom prefix will require it.

Machine configuration cloning UI

Ten words or fewer

Extend machine cloning to UI, moving toward machine profile templates.

About this feature

MAAS 3.1 allows you to quickly clone or copy a configuration between machines, via the MAAS UI – a step towards machine templating.

Creating a machine profile is repetitive. We’ve learned that most users create multiple machines of the same configuration in batches. Some users loop a template through the API, while others rely on scripts. MAAS API cloning functionality is now being exposed in the UI.

About copying machine configurations

As a MAAS user, you may want to copy a machine configuration to multiple existing machines. Assuming that at least one machine is already configured, you should be able to apply these settings to a list of machines. This means that a user should be able to:

  • select the source machine to copy from.
  • validate that the source machine exists.
  • select at least 1 destination machine.
  • validate that the destination machine(s) exist.
  • edit the source machine or destination machines, if needed.
  • know at all times which machines are affected.
  • see the cloned machines when cloning is successful, or
  • get clear failure information, if cloning fails.

About choosing configuration items to copy

As a MAAS user, you likely want to select whether storage, network, or both configurations should be cloned. The cloning API allows users to choose interfaces and storage separately. Thus, this new feature also allows you to:

  • clone only the interface (network) configuration.
  • clone only the storage configuration.
  • clone both configurations.

About cloning restrictions

In order for cloning to succeed, a few restrictions must be met:

  1. The destination interface names must be the same source.
  2. The destination drive must be equal to or larger than the source drive.
  3. For static IPs, a new IP will be allocated to the interface on the destination machine

How to clone a machine from the UI

Assume you have two machines available, like this:

Select the machine to which you want to clone configuration, and select “Clone from…”

Under “1. Select the source machine” – choose a machine from the attached list:

Under “2. Select what to clone”, choose “Network”, “Storage”, or both (here, we’ve chosen “Storage”):

Click “Clone to machine”. MAAS will report the status of the attempt.

LXD authentication UX improvements

Ten words or fewer

Easier MAAS to LXD connection that uses certificates for authentication.

About this feature

MAAS 3.1 provides a smoother experience when connecting an existing LXD server to MAAS, guiding the user through manual steps and providing increased connection security with use of certificates. Currently, each MAAS region/rack controller has its own certificate. To add a LXD VM host to MAAS, the user needs to either add the certificate for each controller that can reach the LXD server to the trust list in LXD, or use the trust_password (in which case the controller talking to LXD will automatically add its certificate to the trust).

This doesn’t provide a great user experience, as the former process is cumbersome, and the latter is not suggested for production use for security reasons. To improve this, MAAS 3.1 manages per-LXD keys/certificates, and provide a way for users to get the content of certificates, to authorise MAAS in LXD.

About on-the-spot certificate creation

As a MAAS user, you want to register a LXD host into MAAS using certificates for authentication – to follow LXD production deployment best practices. The standard way for clients to authenticate with LXD servers is through certificates. The use of trust_password is only meant as a way to interact for initial setup.

While prior versions of MAAS support both ways of authentication (and automatically adds the certificate for the rack talking to LXD when registering the VM host), the user experience is lacking, since there’s no control over the certificate being used. In addition, each rack uses a different certificate, making it hard to manage scenarios where multiple racks can connect to a LXD server.

For these reasons, when adding a LXD host, MAAS 3.1 provides a way to generate a secret key and certificate pair to use specifically for that server, and show the certificate to the user, so that they can add it to the LXD server trust list. The user experience changes to something like the following:

  • MAAS generates a secret key and certificate pair for use with a LXD server.
  • The user can see the certificate and is guided to add it to the LXD server trust list.
  • The user can easily complete the registration of the LXD server once the certificate is trusted in LXD.
  • All racks use the same key when talking to the LXD server.
  • If a new rack controller is added, it can communicate with the LXD server out of the box.
  • If the trust password is used, it’s not stored in MAAS persistently.
  • It’s possible to get the certificate for a LXD server from a URL (e.g. for curl use).

About bringing your own certificates

As a MAAS user, you may want to register a LXD host into MAAS by providing a private key for a certificate that’s already trusted by the LXD server. For example, you may already have set up certificates in the server trust for MAAS to use, MAAS should provide a way to import it, instead of generating a new one.

With MAAS 3.1, it’s possible to import an existing key/certificate pair for use with a LXD server when registering it with MAAS. MAAS stores the key/certificate instead of generating new ones.

The imported key must not have a passphrase; otherwise, MAAS will not be able to use it.

How to get started

Suppose that you’re creating a new LXD KVM, beginning from the top tab in MAAS:

Select “Add KVM”, which brings you to the definition screen:

From here, you’ll continue by choosing your authentication method.

How to let MAAS create a certificate for you

If you choose “Generate new certificate”, as shown above, you’ll come to a screen like this one:

You can still choose to use the LXD trust password (entered when you ran lxd init during LXD installation). You can also, though, choose to use the certificate MAAS has just generated for you. To do that, select the entire contents of the text box, copy it, and paste it into a terminal window – then hit “Enter”:

$ lxc config trust add - <<EOF
> -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
> MIIErTCCApUCEQCGa86XdjYUGm8h8YOh4HAEMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBDQUAMAAwHhcN
> MjEwOTI0MjE1NDQ4WhcNMzEwOTIyMjE1NDQ4WjApMScwJQYDVQQDDB5teTBuZXh0
> LTMuMS4wLWJldGExLWt2bUB3YWxkZW4wggIiMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4ICDwAw
> ggIKAoICAQC1tmJbSYx3Jb5JcuqLvyO6P0RtYWCbjVYOSAIM1PKHZJRvako6QhjR
> 6wWNcVLAjDJIMuEBysrI8mcAv9D/AfT2qLQ/5mg7anbxfrd3YXG2nc70QJazpFaw
> INDc85wrdJD5NEd50iaka+PztIAWzoZWQr/pLb7hUDnArzSHp5J+w0dRCUh54SyW
> Du4mLpDks5UqMeONO1o7lbaQuBdzGtR4btdmvOkJfg/Pu3i/rzFZ1vvn1JhZTX96
> +xH7tJQiqOk0SXG7F2RmbYiYDhAkiysbMoyOHBCf/qFWq4Vtd/VMxOAT1WERrgWn
> 8nL5kRBozV94QocJaOe+GUSWLHsRpsVa8jiAj3LS2CFQfpaEsrzLSlQOeN2rNB9z
> DO9yGXGql4tUpgtyEvxB/zVrIGd04iTC3D4S9b1KyzTbSsyjTc/XJhUStnn49ySW
> Iwv1eHa2jMvIjRVm5sRfpf0EOZW27HLI1AqDOXR0DmlM2mWvndjvfacX+41I8vuG
> +RPq0ZjDhwfRmUaLiebzcExwPmSHAxqiaV+t0n6ivDWTNk6cNc38rZBh3x6I7JMR
> /85Rc1blLSF7QBMA1HxheCUYzBPTKsdE2btygq9vShRXCdSekV0jGoL1g0n6T59r
> +9nHShgc/Bzk42kcddQySlrqWWHrXX6Z2N1R3eYpuvSEaKsnsjqjwwIDAQABMA0G
> CSqGSIb3DQEBDQUAA4ICAQA4d1Xqi941ssyJoiovTzBgMDSp9kqjpB83BRqbF9oZ
> fQGkezn2jF7SnaXbTyR/K+nir5Rms8OZfUxyZJwYh/YCdnIF8hzC32mLJbP6jcJV
> LS0OD+EipwyRLSe9g2it68TtAhhVXKPx3tGQWWiXtJOF631sJRcRUZATc9nco5H2
> 91GKog4LdFeKD3ArOq1GkE9r95WauTV37x0c474XBt2mVcEvFW50oZbIBPaWLt8E
> q8NG0KYkfIHkhXDGqPDkUtdPJlkiGwqXdaqghuG31a4Or9IKcNmDlli47apaWWJW
> /gqZfFALbOrSJHg10PCqNsfoKmQr2YZzPlTjG39RA7sA1XR6y+lQZqwcXnXk2iAE
> n62OkRUrYVXzBo99zk5jQJVEg6zhfPH9zl6Jmn/vBu0p6RqmqNLTTlMOio8VOp9e
> 9Gyb9uRwzwZ9zgydgI4bHMvcIAq+46wTruOfXBNATWLC2YqXbc+9QqemJebcXULW
> Wf7Sc+SHHx2cVb4OUvUD8keZN37No/2vfZ9NI2SJOI4SxlV2yf6ZRyb7MYIwpm1h
> YTzyS+ywUN4C8p1PsU5iT8DGdcg7Kcso4/DDZeZkLKNeCKizkdMreF7qV0qHTW8z
> PyfZHcR/xWMkjxYZoFu4rVyxpsUJYItJNUNk6vZvSnSDfC2e2JJFfMws+fntNy14
> /w==
> -----END CERTIFICATE-----
> EOF
$ 

The certificate will be created for you. When you click the “Check authentication” button, you will be brought to this screen:

from which you can continue with normal LXD KVM setup.

How to use your own, existing certificate

Suppose that, after identifying your LXD KVM, you choose “Provide certificate and private key”. When you do so, the screen will extend to allow you to upload these items:

Paste or upload your certificate and private key, then click “Next” to validate your authentication criteria, before continuing through the normal LXD KVM creation process. If your certificate and/or key aren’t usable for some reason, MAAS will return an error (in this case, the private key was entered as gibberish, to produce an error output):

Improved image sync performance

Ten words or fewer

After downloading images, the rack controller syncs them much faster.

About this feature

Downloading and syncing images is a known delay element in MAAS. While images aren’t small, and do take some time to download, we decided to try to speed up the process as much as possible. After the region has downloaded new images, the rack controllers are now much quicker at syncing the new images.

How to take advantage of this new feature

There is nothing required of our users to experience this improved sync performance, other than upgrading to 3.1.

MAAS 3.1 cumulative bug fixes

MAAS 3.1 bug fixes can be found in the following milestones:

Release notes for other MAAS versions

Here are release notes for other relatively recent MAAS versions:

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